Black Friday Madness Unfolds

by | November 23, 2012 at 3:43 PM | General

Black Friday is once again living up to its name.

No sooner than the last turkey drumstick had been wolfed down, Americans dropped their forks and headed to the stores.

And, as always, not all the reports coming in from malls across the country are tales of dream bargains being found and holiday gift lists being fulfilled. Inevitably, long lines and frantic hunts for hard-to-find gifts give way to the kind of chaos Black Friday (and Thursday, it seems) has come to be infamous for.

Here are a few messy scenes that have unfolded so far on Black Friday 2012:

Hysterical Woman Arrested at Walmart

In a scene that quickly made waves on YouTube, a central Florida woman’s post-Thanksgiving feast shopping went terribly wrong after an altercation left her in handcuffs.

Central Florida News 13 reports that Samantha Chavez, 28, was arrested at about 10:30 p.m. on Thursday after police said she tried to cut to the front of a very long line at the checkout counter.

Unluckily for her, one of the people she happened to pass in the alleged butting incident was a police officer stationed at the store to help with…line control.

Chavez told News 13 that she was simply trying to find her sister in the crowd, but that the police officer insisted that she had to get to the back of the line. It wasn’t long before the conversation escalated to yelling, and police tried to remove her from the store. Instead, Chavez ended up on the floor as the officer tried to restrain her.

“I’ve never been in that situation,” Chavez told News 13. “And for him to have me on the floor with all his body weight on me was very, very traumatic. I was yelling, screaming, saying ‘I didn’t do anything; I just want to go home; Please let me go,’” Chavez described.

Nearly six hours later, Chavez was released from the Seminole County Jail on a $550 bond. She is charged with disorderly conduct and resisting an officer.

You can see the dramatic incident here:

2 Run Down in Parking Lot
In another Thursday night incident, two people were run down by an SUV in a Walmart parking lot crowded with shoppers looking to get some late-night deals.

Police in Covington, Wash., told KING 5 News that a couple who came to store for a Black Friday sale were hit by a 71-year-old man who appears to have been intoxicated.

Though there were few details about how the incident occurred, police told KING 5 that the 45-year-old woman had been pinned beneath the vehicle and that she had to be airlifted to a Seattle hospital. She was reportedly in serious condition with a pelvic injury. The man in the incident was thrown onto the hood of the SUV and suffered a minor head injury.

Police told KING 5 that the driver of the SUV appeared to have been drinking and was charged with vehicular assault.

Man Pulls Gun in Texas Line-Cutting Incident
From the Associated Press:
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Black Friday got off to a rowdy start at a San Antonio mall where police say one shopper pulled a gun on another who punched him in the face while they were waiting in line at a Sears store.

Police Sgt. Rob Carey tells the San Antonio Express-News a man rushed into the store when it opened Thursday night to get to the front of a line, started arguing with people and tried cutting in front of them.

One man who got punched pulled a gun and that scattered shoppers, including the impatient line-cutter who took cover behind a refrigerator. Then he fled.

Carey says the man with the gun had a permit to carry the weapon and isn’t being charged with a crime.

Walmart: None Hurt in Frenzy at Ga. Store
MOULTRIE, Ga. (AP) — Walmart says no one was injured in a frenzy over a Black Friday deal at one of its stores in south Georgia.

A video of the incident circulating online shows a large crowd of people pushing, yelling and grabbing boxes off a shelf at the store in Moultrie.

Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove says a deal on a cell phone with a prepaid, unlimited usage plan “led to excitement among our customers.” He called the incident unfortunate, but said it was isolated.

He says staff and security were on hand at the store to handle the situation and that no injuries were reported and no one was escorted from the store.

Cops: Mass. Bargain Hunter Took Home TV, Left Tot

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Police say a Massachusetts man left his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son in a car while he went shopping for Black Friday bargains, then went home with his new 51-inch flat screen television and left the toddler behind.

Police, alerted by store security, found the boy asleep in the vehicle in a Kmart parking lot at about 1:30 a.m. Friday.

They forced their way into the car and took the boy to the hospital as a precaution.

Meanwhile, they tracked the man to his Springfield home.

He told police he lost the boy while shopping, panicked and called someone else for a ride. The boy’s mother was working.

The 34-year-old man was not arrested and not immediately charged, but police say they expect to charge him with reckless endangerment to a child.